Samsung Galaxy Note8
- Breathtaking design
- Vivid and colorful display
- MicroSD expansion
- IP68 certification
- It's the priciest Samsung Galaxy Note
- Phone may feel awkward in one hand
The Galaxy Note 8 is the latest of the Galaxy Note series to release, and it certainly has done well to earn the trust of those who have been victims of the Galaxy Note 7 debacle. Yet, is it worth your dollar?
Of course it is, for several reasons.
First, the design. The Galaxy Note 8 retains the glass appearance that has been in usage over the past couple of years. A little similar to the Note 5, however, is the metal frame that wraps around the phone's perimeter. What is also interesting to note (pun intended) is the body of the Note 8. The Note 8's body is more square and angular compared to the Samsung Galaxy S8. Furthermore, the sides are flatter, giving the user a more pronounced grip. Unfortunately, glass is a fingerprint magnet, so you'll want to carry a cleaning cloth with you if you want to keep your phone in pristine condition.
When it comes to the display of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, you'll receive nothing but quality. The Note 8 measures at 6.3 inches, but what is a rather odd design choice is the aspect ratio, which stands at 18.5:9. This means that the screen is far taller than it is wide, which may lead to comfort issues.
What also makes a return is the gorgeous Samsung Super AMOLED display, which boasts vibrant colors and sharp contrasts. What is also astonishing is the resolution of 2,960 x 1,440. In other words, 3K QHD+, leading to crisp visuals. However, as the Note 8's default resolution is 1080p, you'll need to manually increase the resolution if you want to experience the maximum potential the Note 8 offers. Overall, the display is absolute eye-candy, especially when you factor in the true mobile HDR playback functions - perfect for gaming and video viewing.
And what of the innards of the Note 8? Why, what makes the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 stand out is the amount of RAM it features. While the Apple iPhone X sports 3GB of RAM, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 boasts a whopping 6GB, meaning better multitasking capabilities.
When it comes to the CPU, the Snapdragon 835 makes its home in the Galaxy Note 8. While it's not as powerful as Apple's A11 chipset, it is still very capable of handling heavy tasks and graphically-intensive games with ease.
The Galaxy Note 8 also sports hefty amounts of storage. Unfortunately, only a 64GB internal storage model is available for purchase in the United States. There are also 128GB and 256GB versions available, but you'll have to procure them from other countries. Fortunately, the Note 8 offers up to 256GB of expandable storage. So, internal storage restraints aren't exactly a big deal.
And what of the battery capacity? Well, the Galaxy Note 8 comes equipped with a 3,300mAh battery. The phone can get you comfortably throughout the day with a moderate amount of usage.
What also is important to highlight is the S Pen. The S Pen, in fact, remains virtually the same as the previous iteration. The pen sports a clickable top and 4,000 pressures of sensitivity. However, what changes are the software features of the S Pen. The Galaxy Note 8 comes with the Pen Up coloring-in app. Furthermore, you can also take advantage of Live Message, which allows you to record pen strokes and transform said pen strokes into an animated GIF.
When it comes to user interface and the Android OS, the Galaxy Note 8 is your multitasking friend. There is a new App Pairing feature, which lets you pair two apps and save them together as a shortcut. When you tap on the shortcut, you'll open both apps in a Multi Window view. This certainly is a time-saving feature. What also is implemented is the AI assistant Bixby, which was introduced with the Galaxy S8. With the Galaxy Note 8, you'll also be able to take advantage of Bixby Voice. Unfortunately, many users have reported that Bixby Voice needs more polish, as it struggles with understanding words.
What can be a little disappointing for some is that while the Note 8 relies on Android Nougat, Android 8.0 Oreo is just around the corner. When the Note 8 will receive Oreo is up in the air, but for now, the Nougat update is plenty efficient. Overall, the UI and operating system are very familiar, with some minor tweaks here and there, but they aren't in desperate need of massive improvements, either.
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Finally, we have the camera. Or more specifically, the dual cameras. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 sports dual cameras on the rear, but what is also interesting is the fact that it relies on a wide angle and telephoto lens setup - the setup embedded in the iPhone 7 Plus. There is also a secondary telephoto lens, allowing the Note 8 to reach 2X optical zoom. Like the iPhone 8/8 Plus/X, the sensors are 12 megapixels, though the main sensor features f/1.7 aperture and the secondary sensor sports f/2.4. To add to the impressive arsenal is the speediness of the dual pixel autofocus which is unfortunately only available on the main camera. However, both sensors highlight optical image stabilization, so no matter, what your videos and photos will be optically stabilized.
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What also should be noted is the Live Focus mode, which allows you to make adjustments before and after a photo is taken. And what of image quality? The image quality of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is actually quite similar to the Samsung Galaxy S8, so expect vibrant and vivid colors, as well as sharp details. Of course, if you're curious about the front camera, you'll find that the Note 8 bears an 8 MP camera.
While the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is considerably expensive compared to the other Samsung Galaxy S8 models, it is of high quality, featuring impressive dual cameras and crisp, detailed visuals. By all means, if you can afford it, you cannot go wrong with this beast of a phone.